Skip to main content


It's the 23rd of the month. Again. That stuff about it getting easier. HA! Not easier. We're here at the beach. Dave loved to go to the beach. He'd bring his guitar and sit around the fire and play. He'd eat oysters with my dad and walk out on the sand when the tide was low. He'd play games with the kids and the dogs. He'd hang out with Dad and Denny in the shop. It doesn't seem right that he's not here with us. This is our first trip to the beach (that's what we call my mom & dad's house...they live on Willapa Bay, a couple of miles from Long Beach) in several years. The last two years before Dave died, our travels were mostly to energy to drive that extra two hours here and back. My memories of Dave here are of him healthy and vibrant.

It's been a good vacation. We went rafting in Wenatchee, took a spin through Leavenworth and Cashmere, spent some time with Erik, Evy & kids in Seattle, saw the Weiderspans at the zoo in Tacoma, went miniature golfing in Puyallup, spent a few days in a new hotel there down on the waterfront. I took the kids on a nostalgic tour...this is where your dad worked (they have re-vamped the West End Tavern into a Pub and Grill!), this is where we had our first date, here is the house I was living in, here's his fraternity house, here's the house where we lived when you were get the idea. We ate at Spaghetti Factory and Frisko Freeze and saw Pinch's Deli (we were too full to eat there).

We also went to Gig Harbor. We had lunch with Brian Wickens. It was so good to see him. We went to the cemetery in Gig Harbor to see Kyle and Doug's graves. It was an emotional experience, especially for Kate. I'm trying to decide what to do with Dave's ashes...if you've been following the story, you might remember that Dave's ashes are sitting on a table in our living room. Complete with Goofy hat. Or sometimes a WaHi or Seahawks hat. I haven't felt pressed to do anything, especially since there is that giant rock at WaHi (thanks, Val and crew!) for people to have a place to go to remember. I see flowers there often. And the kids don't seem to mind Dave just hanging out. I wanted Dave and Kyle together...and now with Doug buried next to Kyle, I didn't want to move Kyle....sigh. One suggestion was to leave the marker, but move Kyle's ashes. Kate burst into tears. She thought that was a terrible idea. They said we could put Dave's ashes in the same grave with Kyle, there's a sealed concrete box. That might be an option. That would least until I die.

Then we went to Kelso. I got to have coffee with Lisa, and that was really nice to reconnect with her. Then we drove on to the beach. Then back to Wallyworld for a couple of days, then back to the beach. You should see Duke. He's having an absolute blast here, running like crazy until he just runs out of steam and falls over in the shade to sleep.

Oh...and in the category of, "What Did I Do Wrong In A Former Life To Deserve All This - Minor Division," there won't be any more pictures...somewhere between Wenatchee and Seattle, our camera guessed it, our new digital video camera that records on the mini-dvd's and takes still pics, too. Sheesh. At least there are wheat pancakes with fresh blackberries and blueberries for breakfast, so it can't be all bad!


  1. Sorry about the camera. Are you going to learn how to play the guitar? Lots of love to you guys.

  2. Hi guys! Well, it's been too long since I've written. No excuses, but I have been keeping up by reading all your entries...taking it all in....and learning just how preciuos our lives are.
    Yes, I too know that it is the 23rd. Hailee is 18 today. (Whew...did that go by in a hurry.) I also said to Richie, today is 11 months since Dave left us. I thank God for Rich, and thank Richie for always taking the time to hear me say what I need about Dave and all of you. I can't imagine the pain. I feel his absence in my heart and I know it's only minuet compared to the large rock in your hearts. I too, think of him often. I have his picture of Dave on my shelf that has a miniture rock next to it that I kept from the rock quarry where I found his. It is to remind me each and every day to live as solid of a life that God intended me to. Dave was that true example. What a beautiful man.
    We had a small get together with school friends last weekend for our 25th year out of WaHi. Several people mentioned Dave, the rock, and tears rolled down my face as we talk. We also had someone there with a laptop of previous pictures from our reunions, and I can't even get through that. (Blubbering baby) I just want you to know that he's always in many of our hearts and there are a lot of us that will always make sure his love and compasion carry on through many who knew him.
    I think that you are doing the best you can, Michelle. Don't ever second guess yourself. It is all God has asked of any of us, no matter our circumstances. May you always know you and the kids are constantly in our hearts and prayers.
    Love, Val

  3. Michelle ... sounds like your vaction is doing just what is should be ... destressing you and the kids.

    Want to know a secret??? ... I LOVE whole wheat pancakes with fruit toppings (especially blueberries and huckleberries) ... Fred HATED them and Olivia still does!

    Sorry about the camera, but truly it is a big loss to us all. I LOVE looking at the photos and videos you take.

    I am off to that place they call Los Angeles for the week. Will be in touch when I get back. Am still hoping to connect with you next week when we are in Spokane.

  4. Ahhhhh the beach. Whole wheat pancakes with berries. Summer vacation. I'm glad you are having one. Good. good to get a break, change of venue. Relax a little. I hope you can. Enjoy. You need it. Breathe.
    Make new memories. Without the camera. With your hearts.
    Come home renewed.
    Sending love,

  5. Just got back from our own travels, and I have to say the highlight was seeing you all. All we could say is that we have to plan for more time in Walla Walla next year! Thanks so much for the hospitality and sharing your home with us (no one got sick later!). We love you guys so much and it was so wonderful to see you all. It's ok to take your time deciding about Dave, it felt kind of comfortable seeing his goofy hat there with us in the living room. Tell Ms Kate that we did miss seeing her dance recitals on DVD and that we would gladly pay the shipping to have one sent to us if she would like us to see it. Talk to you soon.
    All our love,
    The Mouats

  6. Hi friend
    Just got home tonight from my vacation to Sun City, AZ. This was my second journey without my dad there and boy it felt just as empty without him. It isn't that it isn't good to see Mom, our oldest daugher, son in law and granddaughter but HE is missing. Like I told my mom "How life changes in one year and not for the better."

    My father's ashes remain at home on a table set up for him with his picture and a candle and I think we decided that he will remain there. We did make arrangements to get four pendants and have some ashes put in them. One for me, mom and my two girls. However, we decided that we didn't want him anywhere else we wanted him right there and my mother feels so comfortable with him there. I come in and kiss him and when I leave I kiss him again. It is natural for us. SO keep Dave as long as you need to and when the time is right you and your heart will know.

    Hope your vacation is refreshing and good for you. What a nice place to be at Mom and Dad's so enjoy!

  7. It doesn't get easier, not for a while. I hear folks tell me the second year is worse than the first.

    Still, vacation and whole wheat pancakes are good, very good.

    And we enjoy what comes...

  8. I am so thankful that we were both in Kelso at the same time. I think it was a God-thing! It was so great to catch up and just talk and talk and talk! Time just flew. I owe you a coffee, so we'll have to find a time to meet again! Could Bellingham and Walla Walla be any further apart and still be in the same state?! You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Lisa


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

Being a Widow on Father's Day

This day never gets easier.

I scroll facebook and I see
that my children and I are not alone.
So many families missing dads on
Father's Day.

We are lucky.
Dave was here,
and fought to stay,
as long as he could.
He left a legacy that we will
always remember.
He was honest and kind and caring.
He was full of faith and joy and love.
His example leads us through every day
without him.
Missing him never goes away.

I want to give a "shout-out"
to all those moms who do double duty.
Who work hard to be the best mom that they can,
and try to fill the empty space left by a dad
who is no longer here.

For the last almost 11 years,
and often in the years before that
when Dave was so sick,
I tried to do what I could.
"There is no way to be a perfect mother,but a million ways to be a good one."
I worked two jobs.  Sometimes three.
A few times, even four.
To make sure my kids could stay in their childhood home,
to try to provide some safety, stability and security
in a wo…


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…